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"Philosophy teaches us to feel uncertain about the things that seem to us self-evident.

Propaganda, on the other hand, teaches us to accept as self-evident matters about which it would be reasonable to suspend our judgement or to feel doubt.”

Aldous Huxley

 

A simplistic view of the measures taken to counteract the effect of the SARS-CoV-2 virus might give the impression that they were meticulously organised based on unquestionable “scientific evidence”, and necessary because we were dealing with a super-virus with unfathomable power for destruction.

  1. Organisation was, and still is, far from meticulous or coordinated. In the initial phase the focus was on hand-to-nose/eyes transmission. Masks were discouraged while panic buying of hand sanitiser became essential. This came out of the assumption that SARS-CoV-2 behaved like the flu virus. It was later agreed that aerosols were the most likely main transmission route, yet masks are still looked upon as less relevant than handwashing and distancing. This is not just illogical, it is impractical: In a normal life situation, wearing a mask is a lot easier than keeping a 2 metre distance, even when aware of distancing and the strict handwashing protocol!
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  3. The “science” behind the measures is based on ONE statistical model (from Imperial College London) which was never openly challenged by other models. Yet, in order to create a statistical model it is necessary to make numerous projections and assumptions. Projections are based on actual figures gathered initially, but without much perspective, such as how quickly the virus was spreading, while assumptions are necessary in terms of human behaviour and the elusive starting date of CoV-19 with patient zero. It is now fairly well documented that SARS-CoV-2 was already amongst us in late 2019 and that patient zero was not, as was assumed, in January/February 2020. This changes everything about the rate of spreading, the number of immune amongst us and the mortality rate. Yet, the initial model has not been revised and we are continuing to release lockdown based on the assumption that only a small percentage of us are immune and a high percentage of Covid-19 sufferers die. 
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  5. After a short appearance that started in January 2020, Covid-19 was dropped off, on March 19th, from the list of High Consequence Infectious Disease (HCID) on the Government’s website. For reference, lockdown in the UK officially started on the 26th of March, a fact that puts total lockdown in question: an unprecedented measure with extreme consequences! Lockdown measures were taken to control the rate of hospitalisation and reduce demand on limited life-support facilities but it was later agreed that delaying invasive oxygen support was more effective. Even at the most critical time of the pandemic, at no point did the NHS run out of ventilators. This is despite a current shortfall of 7100 apparatus below target.

Was total lockdown necessary by the time it was put in place?
Was continuing with it, for over 12 weeks, worth the damaging cost to our human psyche and societal fabric?
Was the “science” even accurate?
Did “The End justify The Means” in this social experiment?
Or simply demonstrate how easily our personal agency can be hijacked and manipulated!


Going forward we have acquired solid information about:

  • Viral transmission: The main dissemination of the virus is through aerosol. Those are tiny droplets which are formed and expelled when water or body fluids are under pressure. They stay in suspension for a number of minutes before settling. Under certain conditions, the lighter droplets can evaporate quicker than the time it takes to settle and they remain suspended for longer. When coming from a virus carrier, aerosols carry viral capsules that can settle on surfaces. Those can be picked up and transmitted from hands to nose or eyes. But, if you are on the slipstream of an aerosolised viral sneeze, they can be breathed directly into your lungs and bypass immune tissues in the nose and throat.
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  • Viral load: This is a fundamental concept to contagion. A few virus particles will not be enough to mount an infection. Additionally the load threshold varies considerably from one individual to another depending on their immune resilience. Also relevant is the site of delivery. The skin and gut lining are more impermeable and resistant than the lungs which are designed to absorb small gaseous molecules straight into the bloodstream. It follows that viral loaded aerosol breathed directly into the lungs will more likely lead to infection than any other method of picking up the virus.
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  • Contagion and asymptomatic carriers: There is much debate about SARS-CoV-2 and its exceptional power to survive, travel and replicate leading to theories about this super virus hiding where there is no symptom and making those asymptomatic carriers potential super spreaders.
    This theory is in fact an amalgamation of two different situations: pre-symptomatic (not yet aware of symptoms because very mild) and asymptomatic (never develops symptoms).
    Viral load spreading is greatest at the beginning of symptoms when the immune system has not yet started to organise its counterattack. Those symptoms start as vague and diffuse and are often un-detected until the 2nd or 3rd day, yet those first three days are the most contagious.
    Pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic are not the same. Asymptomatic carriers have been shown to be very low spreaders while the pre-symptomatic that is not yet fully aware of the problem can be particularly contagious especially if he shouts, sings, sneezes, coughs or has diarrhoea.
    Being vigilant really means being attentive to how we feel and our symptoms, even if they are mild.

    For reference, the following symptoms are associated with Covid 19:

    1. Temperature
    2. Fatigue
    3. Upper respiratory symptoms including sore throat and runny nose
    4. Loss of taste and/or smell
    5. Rash
    6. Skin symptoms akin to chilblains (red/swollen or discoloured extremities)
    7. Diarrhoea

    Fatigue or/and low-grade temperature with or without diarrhoea seem to be the earlier symptoms.

  • Aerosol formation and settling time: Those will form when we talk (the louder the more aerosols produced), puff and pant, sneeze and cough.
    Toilets are another area where aerosols are rife especially when flushing with the lid open.
    The larger droplets settle in a few minutes. The lighter/smaller ones can float for over an hour depending on conditions. The virus has been shown to survive for up to 72 hours depending on surfaces but this doesn’t make it likely to be contagious for that amount of time because viral load is such a critical factor in infection and virulence outside the host will diminish over time.

The most critical aspect of contagion is suspended aerosolised viral particles followed by hand to nose from infected surfaces.

This has led me to put in place the following measures to ensure your security and comfort:

      1. Pre-screening of all clients and therapists before coming into the clinic. Advising to stay home even if symptoms are mild.
      2. Obligatory masks for everyone. Those are available at the clinic.
      3. Hand-sanitising on arrival and throughout the day
      4. Air purifiers in the rooms during treatment for on-going aerosol elimination: those are equipped with HEPA filters (to filter larger particles), UV (shown to kill germs, including viruses) and an ioniser (shown to speed the settling time of aerosols).
      5. Ventilation protocol between treatments.
      6. Longer cleansing time between treatments to ensure that all contact-surfaces are cleansed; those include the toilet area, door handles, chairs, handrail etc.

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